What a great site this is! Thanks for being here.
We bought a house three years ago with an existing in-ground pool. It's an odd shape, but when we do the math, it's about 13,000 gallons. Small. We think the pool (and possibly much of the equipment?) dates from the late 1980s.
It's got a single-speed 1 HP pump, and a 3/4 HP booster pump, which runs a Polaris 280.
It's noisy and expensive to run, so we got a few bids on replacing the pump with a variable speed pump. The bids come in at about $400-600 more than the pump costs. So my husband, who is a very good DIYer (he's done some plumbing, done some electrical, but never replaced pool equipment) thinks he can do it himself.
But here are the questions:
1. Everyone in our area seems to recommend replacement with a 3 HP Pentair Intelliflo VS pump. Does that seem like a good/reasonable replacement? Replacing 1 HP with 3 HP sounds like overkill -- and it's funny to think that such a switch will save so much money.
2. We've got two 20 amp breakers running to the pool equipment. I've read in some places online that this new pump needs its own 220 service, but two 110s (like our current set-up) should work, right? When my husband checks the electricity running to the current pump, he says it's 240, and he says it shouldn't be a problem, so maybe I'm just overthinking it.
3. We're hoping to replace both the existing pump and the booster pump with a single variable-speed pump, and get a pool cleaner (like a Kreepy Krawler Legend II) that doesn't need a booster pump. Is it a simple replacement, or are there pitfalls or things to consider that we might not have thought of?
4. Right now, our pumps are set up to work together. Each one has its own timer (a dial timer, like you see on tank water heaters). We set the main pump to go, say, six hours a day, and we have it timed so the booster comes on for a couple of hours in the middle of that cycle. We like this because we "set it and forget it" -- but when we've talked to contractors about replacing the pump, they say that you can't automatically time a cleaner into the (new, VS) pump's cycle, but rather, you have to turn it on and off yourself every day. This doesn't sound right, does it? Shouldn't there be a way to run it all automatically, like we have now? So maybe we haven't been explaining it clearly to the contractors.
The actual replacement and hooking up of everything, my husband feels he can do easily -- it's more a matter of choosing and buying the right equipment, so it will do what we want it to do, and so it goes fairly smoothly. The goals are (1) to have smaller electric bills, (2) to have updated but appropriate equipment (i.e., buy something good but not overbuy), (3) to avoid problems by knowing of any pitfalls ahead of time (are there any obvious fatal flaws with our plan?), and (4) to keep the convenience of having everything stay automatic.
Thanks for reading all this, and thanks for any advice you can offer!